CORPORATE NEWS

Slovakofarma affected by forex fluctuations

Slovakia's largest drug producer, Slovakofarma a.s., said on April 27 it had to reduce dividends to 120 Sk per share from 220 Sk in 1996 due to a decline in its 1997 consolidated after-tax profit, which was 403 million Sk ($11.6 million), 27% lower than in 1996. The company officials blamed lower 1997 profits on losses from foreign exchange fluctuations, particularly the depreciation of the Czech crown. "In 1997, the devaluation of the Czech crown had an adverse impact on the company's results. In 1998, the company expects that the Czech authorities...will increase prices of pharmaceuticals," Slovakofarma said in a statement. Exports to the Czech Republic totalled 2.87 billion Sk in 1997, more than half of Slovakofarma's overall consolidated sales of 5.356 billion.

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